"Memory is a weapon" : the uses of history and myth in selected post-1960 Kenyan, Nigerian and South African plays

Hutchison, Yvette (1999-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 1999.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In hierdie proefskrif word gekyk na die verwantskap tussen geskiedenis, mite, geheue en teater. Daar word ook gekyk na die mate waartoe historiese of mitiese toneelstukke gebruik kan word om die amptelike geheue en identiteite, soos deur bewindhebbers in post-koloniale Nigerie en Kenya geskep, terug kon wen of uit kon daag. Hierdie werke word dan vergelyk met die soort teater wat tydens die Apartheidbewind in Suid-Afrika geskep is, om verskille en ooreenkomste in die gebruik van historiese en mitiese gegewens te bekyk. Die slotsom is dat een van die belangrikste kenmerke van die teater in vandag se samelewing sy vermod is om alternatiewe historiese narratiewe te ontwikkel wat kan dien as teen-geheue ("counter-memory") vir die dominante narratief van amptelike geskiedenisse. Sodoende bevraagteken die teater dan ook 'n liniere en causale siening van die geskiedenis, maar interpreteer dit eerder as meervoudig en kompleks.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: This thesis considers the relationship between history, myth, memory and theatre. The study explores the extent to which historic or mythic plays were used to either reclaim or challenge the official memories and identities created by those in power in the postcolonial Kenyan and Nigerian context. These are then compared to the South African theatre created during Apartheid, exploring the similarities and differences in the South Africans use of historic or mythic referents. The conclusion reached is that one of the most powerful aspects of theatre in society is its ability to create alternate historic narratives that become a counter-memory to the dominant narrative of official histories. It also challenges seeing history as linear and causal, and makes it more plural and complex.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/51338
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